Looking for a good story

Today’s guest artist: Mariecris.

One of my favorite parts of collections are kodachrome slides.
Kodachrome slides are brilliant Technicolor-like 35mm transparencies. Not only are they beautiful they have the reputation of lasting a very, very long time. In the photography world, that means a lot. Pictures fade, especially color photographs. And now with people increasingly taking pictures digitally there is a fear that those images may be lost. Photographs printed from printers are also very susceptible to fading. Digital images can be deleted, details lost with each compression, or they simply may not be accessible. How many images have you saved on some form of media but can’t access anymore? Does the infamous zip drive ring a bell?

But one of things that I miss in digital photographs, which is not exactly translated in the digital world, is original order (the order the creator organized their images). As mentioned on a previous blog entry, the way a person arranges or group their papers, images, and audiovisual materials tells a story. It gives clues as to the events in their life and how they viewed those events. What story did they want to tell? Of course all is not totally lost. The slide shows that litter myspace and facebook profiles provide a similar context present in scrapbooks, photo albums, and 35 mm slide shows of the past. And with the new creative ways people manipulate images to create their own digital ‘stories,’ well perhaps context is not totally lost. It just had a makeover. Truthfully, I’m just a sucker for a good story!

Check out the glorious kodachrome slides posted below. The slides come from the William L. McNutt photographic slides collection (HMC-0456). The slides below document firemen in Anchorage training. Each image alone is interesting, but together researchers can get a better idea of how they did fire exercises in Anchorage, circa 1950-1970.

Debris that will be used for fire exercise

Debris that will be used for fire exercise

After the fire exercise

After the fire exercise

Fire exercise

Fire exercise

End of fire exercise

End of fire exercise